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Hawaii Supreme Court Dismisses Thirty Meter Telescope Opponents' Appeal

The Hawaii state Supreme Court revoked the project's permit last year following protests that disrupted construction.

HONOLULU — The Hawaii state Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).

Contested-case hearings are still underway for the permit to build the TMT on Mauna Kea, but a group of opponents filed an appeal last month. They appealed various decisions, including time limits for parties to question witnesses.

Image: Thirty Meter Telescope
This 2011 file artist rendering was provided by Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea. Anonymous / AP

The court ruled Friday to dismiss the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction.

RELATED: Mauna Kea Telescope Opponents File Second Appeal to Hawaii Supreme Court

The $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope is currently planned to be constructed on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, which is considered sacred by some Native Hawaiians. The Hawaii state Supreme Court revoked one of the project's permits last year following protests that disrupted construction, sending the project back into the permitting process.

Image: Protesters at Mauna Kea
Protesters form a road block outside the Mauna Kea visitors center in Hilo, Hawaii on March 30. Protesters are preventing construction of a giant telescope near the summit of a mountain held sacred by Native Hawaiians. Some consider the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project as desecrating the Big Island's Mauna Kea. Astronomers say the telescope will allow them to see some 13 billion light years away. Tom Callis / AP

The state Land Board urged the court to dismiss the appeal, which was filed last month. State lawyers called it premature because no decision has been made on whether the Thirty Meter Telescope will receive a construction permit.

Telescope spokesman Scott Ishikawa says the ruling shows the process is fair.

RELATED: Charges Against Mauna Kea Telescope Protesters Dropped

Richard Wurdeman, the attorney representing the opponents, says it’s possible they’ll raise the same issues again once there’s a final decision on the permit.

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